J-Hope and J.Cole’s ‘On the Street’: the end of a chapter



J-Hope considers J.Cole as his muse. J-Hope’s mixtape album “Hope World” was inspired by J.Cole’s album “Cole World.”

In the lone streets of Gwangju, South Korea, the moon illuminates the sky as a young J-Hope dances down the road. His feet move swiftly to the beats of J.Cole’s newest album, as he feels moved by the musician. Guided by only his emotions and the melodies of the songs, he feels inspired to make a name for himself. Today, J-Hope is known as one of three rappers in the Korean pop group BTS and has made a name for himself through his unique rap style. J.Cole has inspired J-Hope throughout his career, and on Mar. 3, the two released “On the Street.”

“[The song] made me think about how I will miss my youth,” Satvika Kodali (10) said. “The song expresses that we don’t take [enough] time to appreciate little things, [but] we will miss them when we are gone.”

“On the Street” depicts the career of J-Hope as he closes a chapter of his life and reevaluates his nine years in the public eye. The song serves as a “see you later” to fans as he is scheduled to enlist in the military later this year.

“J-Hope being gone is like taking away our hope and happiness; there is no reason to live,” Satvika Kodali said. “[However,] I believe that BTS will stick together … no matter how much time it takes to reunite.”

(From left to right) J-Hope, J.Cole and Jimin pose for a photo at Lollapalooza. J-Hope made history as the first South Korean artist to headline Lollapalooza. (GOOGLE IMAGES)

BTS started their journey in 2013 as a rookie group that the public did not take seriously due to their record company being unknown. However, over the years, BTS has worked their way to a level of fame that only few have reached before. 

“[BTS is] the biggest boy band group; [they are] a household name,” Jane Mercer (9) said. “Everybody knows them, even if people do not like them, [they] cannot deny they are influential.”

The title “On the Street” serves as a double entendre, with a street being where J-Hope got his start in dancing and as a place where people’s everyday lives slowly pass them by. At the same time, J.Cole’s verse focuses on how even though life is uncertain, the path he is headed down as an artist is predetermined by his fans. Throughout his verse, J.Cole acknowledges he is at a crossroad in his career, similar to J-Hope, where he does not know if he should keep steering or turn back around.

“I feel like while both artists are talking about different reasons for being ‘On the Street’, they both had a similar goal with the song,” Neha Kodali (9) said. “[Both musicians] discuss how time can … heal things and [help them] reach their goals.”

While thousands of languages are spoken worldwide, the one language understood by all is music. Although J-Hope and J.Cole speak two different languages, they were able to come together and express themselves in similar ways. 

“I think they balance each other well,” Satvika Kodali said. “This song was very touching and refreshing. It helped me think of my future and my youth.”

For most fans, “On the Street” reminds them that this is not the end of BTS, but the start of their next chapter. The song not only allowed J-Hope to look back on his growth as a musician but, most importantly, allowed fans to see the man masked behind his stage persona.

“I see [BTS] as individual people,” Neha Kodali said. “When I was first [listening to] them, I thought of them as huge idols; now I see them as seven boys who love what they do.”